LOCATION: National Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at Mission Nombre de Dios

The 457th Anniversary Founder's Day Celebration

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  • 101 San Marco Avenue
  • St. Augustine, FL 32084
  • Phone: 904-824-2809
  • Admission: FREE
September 3, 2022

On September 8, 1565, Pedro Menendez and his fleet made landfall on the shores of what is now the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at Mission Nombre de Dios. They were greeted by the indigenous Timucuan tribes and celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving on the Catholic liturgical feast day of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They all then shared a meal with the indigenous, commonly known as the "First Thanksgiving", 55 years before Plymouth Rock.

Join us for our annual celebration of the founding of the city of St. Augustine! The Historic Florida Militia's Men of Menendez will present a historical reenactment in partnership with the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at Mission Nombre de Dios. A reenactment of the 1565 landing and proclamation of the city will be followed by a celebration of Catholic Mass at the outdoor Rustic Altar. Afternoon activities will continue at the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park.

At 10 a.m. at the mission, a historical reenactment of the Spanish landing will feature the Historic Florida Militia’s Men of Menendez and the St. Augustine Maritime Heritage Foundation Chalupa followed by a Holy Mass at the rustic altar on the mission grounds at 11 a.m.

The event will continue with a Grand Procession at noon to the Fountain of Youth where guests can witness the first Thanksgiving meal. The Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and regular admission and St. Johns County resident prices are applicable. 904-824-2809

Mission Nombre de Dios, 27 Ocean Ave., St. Augustine

Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, 11 Magnolia Ave., St. Augustine